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Sanford Completes Investigation Of Korean Boat

10 July 2001

Sanford Completes Internal Investigation Of Korean Charter Boat

Sanford Limited has confirmed that it has instructed the owners of a fishing vessel operating under contract to the company, Dong Won 519, which is the subject of a Ministry of Fisheries investigation, that the four officers on the vessel have failed to meet company requirements and are, therefore, no longer able to work on vessels chartered to Sanford.

Sanford group managing director, Eric Barratt, says the Korean boat was boarded by Ministry of Fisheries investigators in Cook Strait on the evening of Thursday 28th June and ordered back to port by Ministry of Fisheries Officers.

"On arrival in Timaru the vessel was unloaded and the catch was compared to Company reporting requirements," Mr Barratt said. " At this point in time it is clear that the officers failed to follow company requirements and, on an issue as important as catch reporting, the company is adamant that its requirements must be followed.

"Notice of this action was given to the owners of the vessel in Timaru over the weekend and the vessel will not be allowed back to sea until new officers are employed and fully briefed.

"Since the incident first came to Sanford's attention it has taken the further precaution of rotating its own compliance observer along with an independent observer across all its chartered vessels at sea. As a result of these inquiries, Sanford is confident that they are correctly following our and the Ministry requirements. "

Mr Barratt said that for a number of years now complete and thorough checks of vessel landings and unloadings had been in place and this would continue.

"Sanford will also ensure that all catch taken by the Dong Won 519 will be correctly reported in accordance with legal requirements to protect the integrity of the quota system and the fishing quota rights held by other New Zealand companies and fishermen."

He added that Sanford was precluded from releasing further details of the incident while the Ministry of Fisheries investigations and interviews are continuing, therefore he would be unable to make any further comments at this time.


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